If there was a list of deadly sins in data management, here’s something that would probably be on it. According to a new study from anti-virus solutions provider AVG Technologies, about 37 per cent of small to mid-sized business (SMB) owners and managers say they spend more time tidying their desks or ordering business cards, prioritizing those tasks over backing up their data.

While AVG’s study didn’t reveal specific numbers for Canada, it polled about 500 SMBs in North America and the U.K. It found that not only did SMB owners prefer to focus on smaller physical tasks, one in four of them don’t ask their employees to do a weekly backup of their data, even though about 30 per cent of respondents say they believe their data is sensitive.

A solid number of respondents also said they’re not too concerned with protecting data stored on mobile devices. About 47 per cent of respondents said they’ve lost at least once of the mobile devices in their fleet, with just 13 per cent of U.S. SMB owners saying they believe about 80 to 100 per cent of the data on mobile devices is sensitive.

SMB owners seemed to be more concerned about cloud security than about keeping their mobile devices safe, with 64 per cent of U.S. SMB owners saying security is their biggest worry when it comes to backing up their data in the cloud.

“Our research shows that while the great majority of small businesses in North America are relatively savvy about the importance of backup, there is still plenty of market education to do, especially when it comes to mobile and cloud platforms,” said Mike Foreman, AVG’s general manager for SMBs, in a statement.

“In today’s mobile and data-driven world, it’s particularly shocking to hear how business owners still spend more time on physical-world activities like tidying their desks and ordering new business cards than digital ones, which suggests that, despite evidence cybercriminals see value in small business data, business owners themselves are still failing to appreciate the true value of the data held within their systems.”

Still, when something does go awry and a mobile device is compromised, about 40 per cent of SMBs in the U.S. say their top priority is to prevent unauthorized third parties from seeing their data.

Half of U.S. respondents add they feel data loss impacts their productivity first, with 37 per cent saying it affects their revenue, and 39 per cent indicating it impacts consumer confidence.

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